Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease - The Role of Diet
Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a serious condition affecting many cats. Fortunately, it is controllable for years with proper cat medicine and diet. There are various causes of Feline IBD, including probably some unknown ones. Feline Allergies, especially feline food allergy, are known to play a significant part in both cause and treatment. These cat allergies, to such things as beef, chicken, turkey, fish, grains, and others, can often be controlled by feeding a hypoallergenic cat diet that doesn't contain the provoking ingredients.
I receive many cat health questions about inflammatory bowel disease in cats. Following is one example:
Hi, Dr. Neely,
Kit-Kat is about 6 1/2 and has Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She is maintained on 1.25 mg of Prednisone every other day.
She used to vomit frequently when I was feeding her wet food (Max Cat, Fancy Feast). The vet put her on Hills Science Diet z/d. She wouldn't touch the wet, so we used the dry formula. The vomiting stopped for months, but she seemed to really dislike z/d and would eat a maximum of 1/4 cup per day (she's 7 1/2 pounds).
She started losing weight and still had no energy. The vet suggested trying d/d instead, but she wouldn't even taste that. On her last visit, he said to give her whatever she would eat.
So far, the only food she ate eagerly was EVO 95% Herring & Salmon. A 5 oz. can is $2. She ate about 1/4 of the can and kept it down, but would not touch the leftovers (warm, cold,or mixed with cheese).
Can you suggest something palatable that I can get her to eat? I just want a happy, healthy cat. I am putting her back on daily Pred til I get her past this flare up, but what would you recommend feeding her?
I'm sorry Kit-Kat had a little setback, but that is often the case with feline inflammatory bowel disease. I've treated countless cats with this condition, but also treated my own cat for years and know how frustrating and sometimes scary it can be.
I have had the most success in treating Feline IBD with the Z/D diet. It sounds like it was actually very good for Kit-Kat also. You mention that her vomiting stopped for months so it sounds like Z/D did a good job of controlling her cat inflammatory bowel disease.
My first suggestion would be to re-evaluate Z/D and be sure that it should not be a primary part of her diet. Even though she didn't love it and lost weight on it (I don't know how much she lost), it is better to have inflammatory bowel disease in cats under control and have a thin cat than not. Feline weight loss is always a part of feline inflammatory bowel disease. My own cat lived for years with feline ibd and became thinner and thinner over the years, but was happy and comfortable.
That having been said, there are other diets that have been successful in treating inflammatory bowel disease in cats. Diets used to treat feline ibd generally fall into one of 3 categories:
Z/D, labeled by Hills as ULTRA Allergen-Free, falls into this category. It is well-known that food allergy can definitely be a cause of cat vomiting from feline inflammatory bowel disease.
In addition to Z/D, Royal Canin Limited Ingredient Diets fall into this category and can be very useful. They come in several different flavors and you may have to experiment with Kit-Kat to see which she prefers. The flavors include the following:
ROYAL CANIN VETERINARY DIET FELINE GREEN PEAS & DUCK FORMULA DRY CAT FOOD
Low Residue diets are formulated to be easy to digest and absorb. The one I have the most experience and success with is Iams Veterinary Formula Intestinal Low-Residue.
Insoluble fibers increase fecal bulk which produces a more normal motility. When stool passage is slower, more water is absorbed. The high fiber diet that has been most successful in my practice for feline inflammatory bowel disease is Royal Canin High Fiber.
I hope this gives you some ideas and that Kit-Kat continues to do well and perhaps like another food a bit better. However, I reiterate, weighing a bit less from not liking the food is better than liking the food, but having more flare-up's of feline inflammatory bowel disease and needing more Pred.
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